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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

GUEST POST- The benefits of Homeschooling by Sally Keys

A few weeks ago I was sent this article by Sally Keys over at Stitch and Sew. Although I don't often talk about homeschooling very often, as I understand that the option is often not available to some, I think Sally does a beautiful job pointing out the benefits and opportunities Homeschooling brings.
For more information on how I homeschool my teens, you can check out this post or watch this video to hear more about the Oak Meadow's grade 7 curriculum we are currently using with our daughter.

The Benefits of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular, and while it can certainly be a challenge, it is also a particularly rewarding experience. Today, more than 2 million American children are homeschooled. They also tend to score significantly higher - up to 30 percent! - on standardized achievement tests. However, homeschool can also have significant spiritual benefits and can help your child grow socially and emotionally. 
Homeschooling Means More Learning in Less Time
Schools have a very strict schedule which usually doesn't equate to excellent time management. Homeschooling, on the other hand, allows you to tailor the activities to the educational goals of your child and avoid wasting time in administrative activities. Furthermore, schools are particularly frustrating for bright children, as they usually finish activities before the rest of the class and feel bored. Homeschooling permits you to speed up or slow down as much as you want, according to your child's individual needs.  
Homeschooling Fosters Strong Family Relationships
Homeschooling brings family members together, fostering intense relationships between siblings as well as between children and parents. Furthermore, one-on-one teaching is much more effective than teaching a class of 20 students. Finally, the dedication of a parent to his or her child and the degree of connection make homeschooling a wonderful option. 
Homeschooling Develops Creativity and Self-Confidence
Many schools focus on academics rather than developing creativity; usually, children are encouraged to think like everyone else. Homeschooling allows children to form their own opinions and foster creativity, as parents are more likely to support independence as opposed to teachers. Homeschooling allows children to be more assertive and less scared of expressing their opinions, as they know they're in a safe physical, emotional and moral environment. Homeschooling also lends itself to more research and in-depth exploration of areas of interest, without waiting for everyone to be at the same level.  
Homeschooling is Healthier 
Homeschooled children have more time for physical exercise and often get outside more, experiencing healthy and spiritually beneficial activities such as gardening while learning. They also usually have a healthier diet than their peers who attend a regular school, as it is easier to prepare healthy meals at home. Cooking with your kids is very beneficial, as the children learn to prepare their own meals and learn about what makes a meal healthy. School lunches or home prepared lunchboxes are not as packed with nutrients as homemade meals. Furthermore, homeschooled children aren't exposed to as many germs and therefore need less medication. 
Homeschooling can be a wonderful way of developing a strong and meaningful connection with your child if done properly, while giving your child a chance to excel in areas which aren't usually covered in depth or covered at all at school. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

5 steps to building on Self Awareness (as the first step towards mindful living)

It's becoming pretty mainstream to practice some form of mindfulness nowadays. Even within our schools, meditation or focus time are replacing the traditional standards of detention or lines in some states and provinces. There is a growing understanding that mindfulness and calm create better mental health and prepares our children to deal with the chaos and turmoil our world can often offer.

But how do we create a solid foundation in mindfulness for our children... not just the action of it?

I mean, it's a wonderful step in the right direction to get children to sit quietly and listen to a guided meditation, or to focus on their breathing but how do we build the awareness for each child so they can appreciate the actual purpose for doing so?
It's a bit like teaching a child how to do math, but not actually helping them understand the reason why they need it or when to apply it within life.

It could also be seen as the philosophy of giving a child a fish to feed them for a day... giving them calm for a moment so their day is successful.
When we have the ability to teach them how to fish and feed them for a lifetime. Our children can be the generation to use mindfulness and conscious living as daily and lifetime tools for happiness.

I can feel you call me an idealist, but honestly, I feel there's one small shift in how we present mindfulness that will make all the difference.

We just need to pass on Self Awareness first.

Self-awareness gives us the navigation skills to sense when we need meditation, when we need positive focus when we could do with quiet or when we would be best to dance out our stresses. Self-awareness works alongside mindfulness to create presence and conscious living, allowing ourselves to sense when we are starting to get stressed or upset by observing rather than reacting.

Imagine when you were a child having the tools to sense when you could do with some quiet time rather than being “told” you need it. Imagine feeling that stress within you to the point of exploding and being able to find your breath and shift to feeling better. How would that have prepared you for the rest of your life?
Sure, maybe I'm an idealist sometimes. We all have off days and we can all jump off the awareness train when life get's busy. But I called this business Spiritual Aware Parenting for the reason that even when we're off, even when we're stressed, even when we aren't thriving, we're aware of the fact that mindfulness can be a tool to help us get back on. We're aware of our own offness when we practice Self Awareness and self knowledge for a little while, which makes hoping back On all the easier.

So, what does that mean? How do we pass on Self Awareness to our children as a foundation for mindful living.

  1. Practice it yourself. Example is key within Spiritual/peaceful parenting. Verbally say you are going to get quiet to “feel more like yourself” when you start to get stressed. Journal, create energy focuses with music, find your joy and follow your bliss. Become aware of Who You Are and How to Step into Your Light.

  1. Talk about emotions and preferences. Ask for your child's opinions and listen to them.
    Opinions and preferences are extensions of perspectives and perspectives are extensions of self expression, which comes from self-awareness.
  2. Open up to a range of experiences and discuss how they feel. Go on nature walks and simply Be. Watch calming movies/shows after watching something faster or louder. Do something that makes you feel excited or exhilarated and compare it to cuddling together reading a book. Contrast builds awareness to how we feel and what we resonate with.
  3. Create and explore curiosity. It's easy to brush aside a child's questions during the day, but breaking rhythms and exploring with them opens life up and allows you both to grow and learn.
  4. Quiet bedtimes. Consider bringing bedtime 30- 45 minutes forward so you can create it as mindfulness time without calling it that. Make it your own time for presence as well as your child's. Let the energy of the house shift, slowing down and unwinding from the day. Read happy stories and listen to your child's. Allow the energy and peace flow through your home moment by moment and watch as your child adapts to it, becoming aware of how things change in feeling and how it affects them.

Self/Spiritual awareness is about presenting opportunities to feel, observe ourselves, and experience life.
It's about Aha moments. :) It's about thriving rather than surviving.

I'm so passionate about passing on self/spiritual awareness to children (Some people ask why I put self and spirit together... the reason is simply this. We are all Spiritual Beings having a physical experience, not the other way around. Therefore, true self awareness is spiritual awareness.)

That's why there's a whole section dedicated to Self Awareness within my Spiritual Kids course.. to help lay the foundation. Then there's the emotional awareness section as well, which creates a deeper foundation to our children knowing Who They Really Are, and that's not even counting the meditation section. I created the course so Spiritual awareness could be created in layers, step by step... for you as well as your child.

(I actually have had a lot of parents tell me that they've enjoyed the content just as much as their children have. We can all be Spiritual Kids.)

Spiritual Kids is available from the website and there's a special promo on at the moment as well, where if you enroll in Spiritual Kids you also get the mini course “Go from Too Busy to Play to Connection with Your Children.” which is a 7 day e-course delivered to your inbox with exercises and videos to help you be more present with your children even with a long to-do list.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

We All Need Heroes

As a huge portion of the world sits watching how Irma and all her offspring will leave parts of the world when they are finally gone, while others are still dealing with Harvey's aftermath or the fire damages, I want to talk to you about something we all need.
Heroes. They come in different shapes, forms and intentions, but I want to encourage you to take a moment, breathe deep, and consider yours for a moment... yours, and your children's.
See my son finally sat down and watched Superman with the family.
No, not some violent, dark film where it's confusing to figure out who's fighting who... but the real Superman. The Christopher Reeves man of steel, who wants truth and justice, who never lies and sends half his income to his silver haired mother. The hero who inspired my generation to be better people... and not hurt others... only create a better world.
I've been eager to show my son this movie, but since he accidentally saw some scenes of the newer Superman a couple of years back, he's adamantly refused to watch any superhero movies... and who can blame him.

So, why, you ask. Why am I happy to finally get him to watch Superman?
Because, as much as  Postman Pat, Little Bear, and good ol' Christopher Robin create a beautiful world for my boy I've been feeling that he also needed some heroes to shine a light forward as he grows and expands in life.
Life is full of contrasting experiences for all of us. We experience challenging times to discover our inner strengths, desires and yeah... our inner heroes. (That's why we create stories about them in the first place. Without challenges, no storybook hero would have a chance to exist.)
My son wants a pretty world in his head, but let's face it, there's a lot of fear in the world and a lot of things we "don't want". I want him to know stories of good, kind, strong men and women, who shine their light and see the best in all. I will never force him to learn of them, but I'm happy when he opens up to them. I want to be able to hold that image as an instruction manual in times of need. How would Superman react in times of crisis? (and no... not just the fly around and save the day sort of way... the compassionate, caring and loving way.)
The world made a little more sense to my son yesterday when he watched Superman with his classic cape and bright red boots. He works for justice and refuses to hurt anyone.
We all need heroes.
Awhile back I was discussing heroes with someone and they were asking what the point of having heroes was. I mean, in some ways people could see it as a form of idolization or mimic to look to someone else and hold them in high enough regard to garnish the term “Hero.” Others use the term as “Modern Day Heroes.” Someone who got the job done did what was right. Fought for others.

But I have another view of heroism.
We choose our heroes as those who have perfected qualities we want to foster within ourselves.
They are more than people we admire, rather we have an intuitive pull within us when we find a hero, as we know we have witnessed or seen the world through the eyes of someone we want to be more like, they emulate our ideal self and in doing so, they can help us get a better sense of how we can practice that.

If you've studied self-help at all, you know the power of visualization. You have probably heard the concept of the Ideal Self (Hey, if you've worked with me or are enrolled in the Stepping into Your Light Course, you've worked on that concept already.) Well, a hero can give us a good platform to work from when designing that concept, because by witnessing their actions and how they carry themselves we get an intuitive snapshot of what we resonate with ourselves.

My mom's hero was Marmee March from Little Women. The quintessential mother, who raised her daughters to stand strong and think independently. This concept of a hero helped shape my mother's life for a very long time.
I've had many heroes over time.
Probably a steadfast one is Madeleine L'Engle, who wrote A Wrinkle in Time as well as so many others. She wrote because she had to, it was in her soul. She had to get the words to paper. She wrote what she lived, what she loved and she shared so much wisdom with the world.
Anne, from the Anne of Green Gables, reminds me of fiery spirits and the power of the imagination.
Larry from The Razor's Edge... reminds me of letting Spirit guide you to a sense of empowered individualism.
Elizabeth Gilbert for her Authenticity...
Louise Hay for her embrace of life and contribution of love. (We'll miss you, Louise. <3 )
Perhaps, as a mother, I resonate more with Marmee March than I thought I did...
I think it's time we all put thought into our heroes.
A Hero casts an image, a framework, which we can try on and see if it feels like a comfortable fit. It then can help us remember ourselves in darker times, and give us direction to find our inner compass when we think we've lost it.
(Remember the phrase and trend WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) Asking ourselves what our heroes would do in any circumstances can give different insight and direction.

Now, as someone who continually talks about our inner guidance systems and trusting your own spiritual connection, I'm in no way suggesting you simply act like someone else. Rather, our heroes actually can remind ourselves of the best parts of us.
They remind us that we aren't alone and, like my son experienced, they tell us that there are others who have high ideals and peaceful intentions. That it is true power to be kind and the light is incredibly strong indeed.
 By the way, The Stepping into Your Light Course is open for enrollment for only $77 at the moment. The course really supports your high self, helping you discover your inner light and help it shine, releasing what holds you back in the shadows. We will be having a group study of the material within the private Facebook Community in a couple of weeks which really gives you support and accountability through the whole 4 weeks of the course.
Also, if you would like to chat about your heroes, helping your children discover their heroes, or even just about Spiritually Aware Parenting and how to use it to resolve any challenges you may be having, feel free to book a connection chat with me. It's a free 20-minute session where we dive deep and explore what's holding you back and what you can do to break free.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Course in Spirituality for Children breakdown.

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile... but summer happened... and now it's almost too late!

You see, since early July I've had a summer sale of $90 on Spiritual Kids the e-course. 
but I have to end the sale as of tomorrow night,(August 10th)  sending it back to $147,  to get ready for some fall offerings.

So, I thought I'd take a moment to really let you know what we're looking at if you buy it at this amazing price before tomorrow night... because, it would be sad to learn afterward, right?
($90 is only  $15 a week, less than a yoga or meditation class and you keep this material  forever)

You'll get access to week 1 right away.
Week one looks at Your sense of Spirituality and how to create a new space for it within your life.
It gives you a video lesson which helps open you up to Spirit and invite it into your home.
Plus a meditation which creates the energy of opening up to that invitation.
You also get a few worksheets which help clear some of the mind chatter and clutter from your life, so you have a clear intention going into the next 5 weeks.

One week later you'll get the What is Spirit, lesson...
The video lesson covers a wide perspective of Spirit, allowing you to use whatever term you feel comfortable with, but giving you some clear guidelines to start expressing with your children. (this isn't Sunday school, there's plenty of room for you to feel what feels right to you.)

One week after that, we talk about Meditation, as a way to find a connection with spirit.
Yes, you'll be given tools to help you meditate so you can be the example, as well as your own Mp3 meditation.
You'll also have an MP3 for your child and a range of exercises, to help create the right space for them. Time outs/time in's be gone... meditation will become the new and exciting quiet time for both of you.

On week 4- we look at emotions.
The video lesson breaks down what emotions indicate spiritually and offers tools within your parenting as well as yourself.
You have amazing worksheets and stories within this lesson and a whole workbook on Emotions.

Week 5- is Appreciation...
It has  its own section. In the video we discuss the difference between Gratitude and Appreciation and how they feel. We talk about the power of using appreciation for when life is spiraling. This is a huge section with worksheets, crafts and exciting experiences.

And then, we wrap up with the Law of Attraction...
This might be the most powerful section and it inspired the whole course. My daughter thanks me all the time for passing on LOA to her from a young age.
In the video lesson, you get a thorough breakdown of how the law of attraction works, past the Secret and simple manifestation. We are looking at how it changes your parenting and days when you start to observe and shift with it. There's another Mp3 meditation, 2 workbooks, and lots of exercises to do with your children, as well as 2 stories for bedtime reading... or whenever.

Like I mentioned, you can use the material as often as you like, for as long as you like, once it's in your inbox. The exercises are aimed at anyone with children 3-13... but a lot of parents are loving the work themselves, so I don't know if I can say that anymore.

Phew... ok. I'm sorry if I sound salesy... I really am hesitant when it comes to selling sometimes, but I also know how frustrating it is when people have been getting newsletters and being part of the group and then they find out months down the road that something I've made was available and they say “if only it was a little in my price range, like $90 instead of $147.”

See what I mean?

So, That's my breakdown. Thanks for reading.

You can enroll in the course here.

I kind of just sat here and let it roll on.. so that's why that short announcement was so, well lengthy.

Lots of love and light everyone,
Be well,

PS... the reason why I launched the sale in the first place was that I truly feel it's a wonderful time to dive into a Spiritual perspective focus. Kids are just going back to school, life is changing speed, but there's the space to breathe deep and set spirituality as a priority before seasonal rushes. I hope this resonates with you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Simple Tool for Self Care and Being Present.

I want to tell you about a little process I call the Octopus Effect.

See, we're all incredibly busy. As parents, we are systematically known for feeling scattered and overwhelmed. We run about, like toddlers, often after toddlers, focusing on as many things as we possibly can for as little time as possible. We literally feel like headless chicken and then we feel guilty for not dropping into the zone of connecting with our children... or guilty for not having any self care time.
 I have a new little mini course for you over on the website and it's actually only $17 for 7 days of fantastic content and daily little lessons in how to Go From Too Busy to Connection.
The course is all about releasing the guilt that often weighs us down when we feel too busy to have time with our kids and truly connect with them, it then helps you find the clarity to find balance instead.
One of these exercises is the Octopus effect.

I used to identify this scatteredness with the feeling of having lots of tabs open on an internet browser. We try to focus on one, but we just can't. So we have to train our minds to close the tabs.
And then, I figured out the Octopus Effect. 

Imagine an octopus, with its tentacles spread out in all directions.

Now, imagine that each of those tentacles is a thing on your to-do list, they are scattered, varied and all over the place.

Imagine when you feel scattered and all over the place you are focused within the tentacles, scattered in all directions. You try to focus on one, but then feel guilty for the lack of attention to the other ones.
You try to move all tentacles at once and life goes haywire.

Now imagine shifting focus to the core body in the centre of your octopus. Withdraw the arms, knowing that by putting energy within that core and creating stability, the flow of life will take care of all the other parts of the whole.

This is what its all about. We can all spend too much time chasing our own tails, running for tentacle to tentacle, task to task.

But when we draw that energy within, and focus within that core, then we feel relief from the chaos and can find ourselves again... so that we can radiate out through all those tentacles, fully and aligned.

Isn't it exciting? To know that some simple self care techniques can have the incredible ripple effect of bringing ourselves back in the moment and withdraw from the scatteredness of day to day life?

Now, the next step of the exercise is to allow a word for that core to flow to you. Withdraw your tentacles, breathe deep and listen. Give yourself a moment to hear that specific word that signifies that core of your inner “octopus”.

Got it?
This word may surprise you. Mine was “stillness”, which was less exciting or energizing than I thought I'd find. But still when I tried it on, it really was exactly what I needed to hear.

Now, when you have that word, try breathing deeply and focusing on the word. You can even let the word flow out on your breath, letting it really resonate within you.

This simple tool can be pulled out whenever you feel overwhelmed or stressed. By using the image of the octopus you have a reference point for your own focus.
Within the day, you can ask, are you focusing from the outer ring, from the tips of your tentacles and scattering that energy... or are your resonating from within your core; centred within yourself?

This little exercise really reminds you how important a bit of self awareness and self care is. It's more than a to-do list item. Self Care can't be one of those tentacles. Rather, it has to be the focus of the core, so that the rest gets done. Self care is an inside job. It's a focus and intentional job and once we practice it, well then, woosh, everything else just gets done in a flow.

I am really passionate about helping you find ways of fueling that core self. I believe that in this time, when routines and patterns are thrown in the air, you can consciously put your mind on, well your mind and allow stillness to enter within.

I really encourage you to visit the course page and check out the new mini course, it's a wonderful way to start the autumn and set new patterns up before the winter months.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Blossoming through their homeschooling journey and curriculum

Summer is coming and what with leaves budding on the trees, the return of hummingbirds and frogs chirping at our river across the road, there’s a sense of newness and of life blossoming. I’m reminded of this within my own family as our son teaches himself how to ride without training wheels (taking them off himself I may add), and as our girls come out of winter hibernation, emerging more like young women than ever.
The other day I was asked by a group member why we homeschooled and it made me stop for a moment. Finally, I replied, that for me, the most important thing I can offer my children is their own sense of self, their own confidence in their unique perspective of the world. I want their education to support this journey, rather than challenge it. I want them to put a priority on knowing themselves and their schooling, the practical things they learn about over these school years needs to be the canvas for them to do that on. Sure, my eldest may have plans to venture out to the school system in a few years, but I know she will have the self-assurance in herself. She knows who she is and who she wants to be. She'll create her own imprint in all she does.
And then there’s her sister. I’ve mentioned my spirited, creative girl a couple of months ago to you. I can’t believe how she’s blossoming these past few months. She’s gone from being my little girl to this aware, sparkling, confident young woman. (ouch... it really does go so fast.)
I mentioned that we had recently started Oak Meadow with our second daughter in a post a couple of months ago. She was eager for the sense of purpose, the weekly tasks and structure at the same time it meets her creative needs, she even finds her own sense of creativity within the creative tasks. (Her first project was on the Tudors, which she combined with stop motion video, an activity she is passionate about, she’s also written stories during her studies in stars, she’s created speeches and explored long works of classical music. She's had projects which have continually brought subjects to life, rather than just being taught.). I am loving how the curriculum leaves room for her to put her own personal stamp on projects. She has a list of things to complete, however, she is given choices in how to explore them in ways that make sure she maintains her interest.
This is actually kind of funny to watch really. Often, in her past homeschooling journey, if she got intimidated or bored of a topic, my daughter would drag her heels and really tell herself the story that she didn’t want to continue with it. I would see this girl come into my room, throw herself on the bed, suddenly really tired and not be able to find that spark of focus so she could continue. But with Oak Meadow it’s different. They are really catching her attention. Oh sure, she comes across some subjects which start to fall into the old pattern. (surprisingly math is no longer one of them. She says she is finally understanding it) The French Revolution started to make her... um... well tired. But once we pulled out the Teacher’s guide, talked about it in conversational tones and used all the tools that are given, she was back in the saddle and finished without another word.
It may seem like I’m going on about the program, but you have no idea the relief it is giving me. For years I’ve watched our daughter, who is so incredibly brilliant with her own processes, perspectives and ways of doing things, I’ve seen her struggle and lose confidence in her ability. And now she’s thriving and feels like she is achieving what she should be. The focus and sense of self that’s creating for her is bleeding into other elements of her life. Even in her art, her play, she’s developing an attention to detail that I’ve never seen with her.
She’s growing up. Suddenly, and beautifully, growing up. But from the inside out. She doesn’t feel like she has to look grown up, and she doesn’t feel she has to act differently either (I can hear her playing something in the other room with her siblings and it’s as crazy and fun as ever.) But, even still she is developing in her own magical way and I am so grateful that Oak Meadow can be a part of that.

If you are thinking of homeschooling, I encourage you to check it out before the 29th, because they are having their annual sale on right now, with 20% off. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Co-operation instead of Control (a guest post)

I am so thrilled to have a guest post to from Julie Louisson. Julie is a past primary teacher who is now a parent and blogger from New Zealand, She has two sons (aged 3 and 5). Since meeting Julie over at the Spiritually Aware Parenting Community Group, I have been so excited to see how our work ties in to each other. I love discovering like-minded lightworkers in the Spiritual Parenting community and I hope you will check out more of Julie's work over at her website. Without further ado... I'll pass the post over to Julie's words...

Here in New Zealand, teachers at early childhood centres and schools encourage children to use the
phrase “stop it, I don’t like” as a clear and respectful way to stand up for themselves when needed.  So, I have taught my boys (aged 2 and 5) to use this phrase with one another at home.  One morning, I heard my eldest saying “stop it, I don’t like it”, repeatedly.  His brother obviously wasn’t listening to him so I went over to investigate what was going on.  It turned out my son was talking to me!  “What am I doing that you don’t like?” I asked, incredulously.
“You’re being bossy”. I was told.
And I was.  It was a humbling reminder that I had strayed from my intentions to collaborate with my boys rather than insist on unquestioned compliance.  When we demand compliance from our children, we silence their voice and teach them to bow to the expectations others have of them.  On the other hand, when we recruit our children’s co-operation, we teach them to value the needs and wants of themselves and others equally.  They develop a sense of their power to impact their own lives and others’ in positive ways.
I believe we are spiritual equals with our children.  I don’t think we have the right to thoughtlessly dish out instructions and expect them to do everything we say.  Sure, there are occasions when our children just have to do as they are told, perhaps for safety or practical reasons, but we have to respect their needs and wants as much as our own.  As a parent, I also want to teach my boys to regard everybody’s needs and wants equally themselves.
The way I parent, including the way I get my boys to do what I need them to do, is an important part of teaching them to value everybody equally and to approach life with a collaborative spirit.  Being bossy is not a part of this!  Here are some of the things I do to enlist their co-operation rather than enforce compliance –
I ask my children for help rather than instruct and demand.  For example, our Wednesday mornings are particularly busy as my husband leaves home early for a breakfast meeting. Things need to go smoothly in order for my boys and I to get out the door in time.  So, over breakfast, I tell them that I find it hard doing everything without Daddy’s help and ask them to please help me by being especially quick with their morning tasks.  It’s a team effort and, lately, we’ve been running early on Wednesday mornings.
I thank more than I praise.  When one of my boys has done something that is helpful to me, instead of praising (eg. “Good boy”), I offer a sincere thank you (eg. “I really appreciate you getting the mail, I already had my hands full”).  Showing appreciation acknowledges their giving heart.  Praise only affirms that they did what I wanted them to.
I acknowledge spontaneous co-operation.  Doesn’t it make your heart swell to see your children thinking of and serving others of their own accord?  My youngest often finds my things around the house and brings them to me in case I might need them.  I give him a big hug of thanks for his thoughtfulness.
I get my children to do chores.  In our house, chores are unpaid.  They are an opportunity for my boys to co-operate and help with the smooth-running of the house.  If my son doesn’t set the table, for example, we can’t eat. The natural consequences of co-operation are far more enjoyable than the natural consequences of not helping.  My boys see and experience the fruits of their labour.
I co-operate with my children too.  Co-operation is a two-way street and my example is one of my best parenting tools.  I help my eldest to find the missing Lego piece he needs.  Sometimes, I change my plans around to accommodate a playdate he has requested.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent. - John Donne

Apart from being a respectful way to get our children to do what we need them to, a spirit of co-operation in the family helps them to see the big picture – they are a part of humanity and everyone’s behaviour impacts on the other people around them.  They learn that, when people co-operate, it makes a positive difference for everyone involved.  Co-operating also helps our children to see that they have something to contribute, giving them a sense of their own worth and everybody else’s.